This month’s Hot List is a bumper issue of vegan products to help make your Veganuary a success.
I tend to cook from scratch most of our meals but modern family life gets in the way. For busy days, I really appreciate having good plant-based options at hand such as some of the convenience foods below.
I have been trying out Veganuary again this year. It has not been perfect (I seem to only function in the morning with organic milk in my coffee). My biggest dilemma this month has been palm oil. It is lurking everywhere and not always sourced from sustainable sources even if products are claiming to be cruelty-free.
Below you will find a few of my favourite current vegan products. Happy Veganuary !
SACLA’ No. 9 Free From Basil Pesto
Pesto is such a versatile ingredient, I am glad to have found a vegan version. Here SACLA’ has replaced the cheese with tofu so this pesto has the same texture and taste than regular pesto. It’s very hard to tell the difference. Enjoy it with pasta, rice, courgettes, aubergines, potatoes, meat substitutes etc..
Doisy & Dam
Last week I received a selection of Doisy & Dam‘s organic chocolate bars. The whole range is made in the UK and boosting with delicious superfood. The vegan bars are made with 74% organic dark chocolate and are also gluten free and soya free. They are all really scrumptious and bursting with flavour. It’s so hard to pick a favourite, so you might have to try them all and tell me what you think! Additionally Doisy & Dam is now an accredited B Corporation which certifies their social and environmental commitments to use business as a force for good.
Back in December, I was invited to a Violife‘s lunch extravaganza where I sampled their whole range as well as the first ever vegan cheeseboard. I was very impressed with all the products which are made from coconut oil (without any aftertaste) and added Vitamin B12. During Veganuary, I have been using the Violife’s Original Flavour Slices (great for sandwiches) and Creamy (a vegan alternative to cream cheese perfect on bagels and crackers ).
Kevin is the latest addition to Pieminister pie range. It is amazingly delicious. It reminded me of a rich steak pie except that it is completely vegan! Mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes, carrots & baby onions are cooked in a rich and silky red wine sauce. Flavoured with thyme, this is pure vegan heaven.
For a curry in a hurry try this Tikka Masala vegan cooking sauce from Meridian. Rich and velvety, it is ideal for vegetables, tofu or vegan quorn.
Made from Californian almonds, Califia‘s dairy free milks are now available in the UK. Their unsweetened almond milk has a rich and delicious almond flavour which I really like. With no added sugar, you can use it in savoury dishes or in preparations which are already sweet enough. Personally I like it pure, straight from a glass. It has added calcium (189mg / 100ml) , though I cannot corroborate the packaging’s claim above.
Again convenience made vegan! I always keep a bag or two of Quorn‘s Meat Free Vegan Pieces in my freezer for busy days. I use them for stir fries, pies, casseroles etc..
Koko Dairy Free
My biggest dilemma about dairy free spread is that they are all made with palm oil. Koko Dairy Free is the only one I found so far which is made from sustainable palm oil. I was concerned it might have too much of a coconut aftertaste, so I was pleased to find it is quite neutral. Find it here.
Alpro‘s Vanilla Yogurt is made from soya beans with added yogurt cultures. Rich and silky, it’s really good on its own or with cereals, fruits. You can also add it to smoothies.
Cumin and coriander add plenty of flavour to Goodlife‘s falafels. 15 mins in the oven and you have a delicious healthy snack or lunch. I love them in pitta bread with crunchy greens and vegetables, drizzled with dairy free yogurt or cream.
The Coconut Collaborative
For a dairy free treat try The Coconut Collaborative‘s Little Temptations Lemon. They are light with a nice lemony taste. A nice change from yogurt.
There is tofu and then there is Tofoo! I am a fan of the whole range with a particular soft spot for Tofoo Smoked Tofu. It has a wonderful flavour that even my kids enjoyed. It love it simply grilled in a bit of oil with vegetables on the side.